Jackson, Tennessee, Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

A brain injury can make you into a different person

It's no secret that serious injuries in car accidents can present you with an uphill battle toward recovery, no matter how you get injured. However, many people still feel fundamentally the same after the crash. They just want to overcome the physical limitations and get healthy again.

With a brain injury, though, the impact can go a lot deeper. You may not ever feel or act the way you once did. Family members may feel like you are a completely different person. You could look the same and fully recover physically, but they'll still feel like they don't know you.

Injured man may seek benefits from workers' compensation program

There is no work environment that can be controlled enough to prevent every accident. When one's working environment includes outdoor activities, then the possibility of a Tennessee worker suffering an on-the-job injury escalates due to the unpredictability of the actions of others. When an employee does suffer an illness or injury as a direct result of one's duties, then he or she may be entitled to file a claim for benefits from the state's workers' compensation program.

Recently, a crew of sanitation workers were engaged in servicing their regularly assigned route. Their team consisted of a 42-year-old female driver and two men, aged 30 and 40, who were assigned to the rear of the truck. As they were working along a section of their route shortly after 7 a.m., the men observed a vehicle approaching in a manner that would lead to a collision with their vehicle.

Proving that your hearing loss occurred at work

If you were hurt at work, the physical impact the injury had can help to prove the injuries that you suffered. For example, if you got your hand stuck in machinery, the harm to your hand can be quite easily attributed to the incident. However, in many cases, showing a causal link between degenerative issues such as the ability to hear can be more challenging.

If you have been involved in a work accident that you believe led to hearing loss, you may have a more challenging claim in regard to gaining workers' compensation than if you injured your hand, for example. You will likely need to undergo testing to pinpoint the extent and the type of hearing loss, and you will need to show that the hearing loss was, in fact, caused by the work incident.

Victims of accidents may have basis for personal injury claim

Traveling the highways throughout Tennessee has become more dangerous over the past several years. Motorists face not only the hazards posed by adverse conditions, but also from the negligence of fellow travelers. Recently, concerns have been expressed regarding the medical qualifications of commercial drivers who may pose a serious risk of causing serious personal injury to innocent victims.

Recently, the federal Office of the Inspector General with the Department of Transportation informed officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that it would be conducting an immediate audit of the medical licensing program under FMCSA's jurisdiction. One of the reasons cited for conducting the audit is the alarming rise in trucking accidents over the past several years. According to government statistics, there has been an estimated 11 percent increase in the number of fatal wrecks involving commercial vehicles since 2012. The OIG memo referenced the fact that there have been several criminal investigations into these wrecks involving fraud within the medical licensing program.

Doctor states refusal to assist on workers' compensation cases

Those who are injured on the job often suffer more than the physical injury. Depending on the circumstances, some may also suffer significant brain trauma or psychological damages that prevent their healing. Tennessee workers who are injured may need referrals from workers' compensation to seek specialized treatment. 

In one state, a man who was severely burned in an explosion on the job struggled to make progress in his recovery. Physicians with the workers' comp program referred the man to a psychologist for a diagnosis and treatment. This doctor determined that the patient suffered from a traumatic brain injury along with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He recommended that the man undergo evaluation using a specialized device that could pinpoint damaged segments of the brain and stimulate it through signals and sounds in order to retrain it and assist in a patient's recovery.

Be careful with insurance companies after a car crash

After you get into a serious motor vehicle collision, you likely anticipate that insurance will cover your losses. From the medical expenses related to the injuries to your lost wages at work, there are many negative financial consequences associated with motor vehicle crashes.

Carrying insurance is a legal requirement, but many people would carry insurance to protect themselves even if it were not an obligation under Tennessee law. You probably think of your insurance company as a friend. After all, big insurance companies go out of their way to represent themselves as looking out for their clients in their commercials and marketing efforts.

DUI responsible for many car accidents in Tennessee

Driving a motor vehicle requires attention to one's own vehicle as well as the surrounding environment. Anything that impacts one's ability to operate a vehicle safely places everyone in the vicinity in danger. Tennessee drivers who choose to drive while intoxicated run the risk of injuring others in serious car accidents.

During a recent weekend, police officers in Clarksville were called to the scene of several crashes that were attributed to drivers who were suspected of being under the influence of intoxicating substances. Out of eight arrests involving drivers who were found to be impaired, five came about after those drivers were involved in accidents. Two of those arrested had a prior history of impaired driving charges. Two individuals were found to be driving while their licenses were either revoked or suspended.

Don't let a dooring accident hurt you while riding a bike

One of the most horrible things that can happen to a bicyclist is to get "doored." Dooring accidents happen when a motorist or vehicle passenger opens a car door into the path of a bicyclist. The bicyclist could strike the edge of the door and suffer catastrophic and deadly injuries.

Dooring events usually happen when cars are stopped on the side of a road while a cyclist passes them. Bicyclists ride along the edge of the roadway in most cases, and this puts them in the zone where -- if a car door opens -- they could slam directly into it.

Car accidents involving school buses worry Tennessee officials

In spite of the myriad of public service campaigns warning motorists about the dangers of bypassing school buses with their lights and traffic arms activated, there have been numerous accounts of children suffering serious injuries. Tennessee officials are concerned about the rising number of motorists who are driving while distracted and causing serious car accidents. The question of how to increase the safety of students is one that both state and federal officials are trying to resolve.

Drivers are repeatedly reminded that they are required to stop for any school bus that has its lights activated, even those on a highway with separate lanes for opposing directions -- unless there is a grass or concrete divider. Unfortunately, school bus drivers report that motorists routinely ignore these laws, which places the safety of children and fellow drivers in jeopardy. Along with the disregard of the school bus laws, distracted drivers pose another serious risk to the safety of children being transported to and from schools.

Education can reduce need for some workers' compensation claims

Teenagers who are looking to enter the job market often lack knowledge concerning workplace safety. It is important that employers provide proper training and safety information that can help prevent workplace injuries. Tennessee employers are encouraged to ensure that their workforces are educated on ways to perform their duties in a manner that may reduce the likelihood of teens needing to file workers' compensation claims.

According to information garnered from a report that investigated the injury rate for teen workers in one state, nearly 50 percent claimed that they had not been instructed in safety and health standards. In addition, half of those workers stated that their injuries may have been prevented if they had received essential training. Researchers reviewed interviews with teens to prepare their report.

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